Photo: Tommy Hindley / Professional SportMitsuteru Moroishi (JPN)
After coming through one of the closest matches on Wednesday’s first day of play in Iizuka City, quad singles fourth seed Mitsuteru Moroishi booked a place in his first Super Series semifinal on Thursday’s second day at the Japan Open, part of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour.
Moroishi beat former Japan Open finalist Tzu-Hsuan Huang of Malaysia 64 62 in the second round, setting up a meeting with David Wagner after the American top seed opened his title defence for the loss of just one game.
Second seed Lucas Sithole of South Africa, who reached his first Super Series final at April’s South African Open, and third seed Sarah Hunter of Canada, a former Japan Open runner-up, will meet in the other semifinal.
Egberink and Miki bid for first Super Series semifinal berth
Four players will be aiming to reach their first ITF Super Series men’s singles semifinals on Friday’s third day in Iizuka.
Among them will be Takuya Miki, who beat the seventh seed on the opening day of play and continued his progress on Thursday’s second day by defeating a second fellow Japanese opponent, Ryoichi, To 60 61. Miki and Dutch third seed Tom Egberink will now go head-to-head to decide which of them will reach the last four of a Super Series event for the first time.
Fifth seed Takashi Sanada and Australian sixth seed Ben Weekes will both seek to reach their second Japan Open semifinals in three years after Sanada joined Egberink and his fellow Dutchman Maikel Scheffers in dropping just two games apiece in their second round matches. Sanada will now face world No. 3 and top seed Scheffers.
Satoshi Saida, who won his one and only Japan Open title eleven years ago, maintained his challenge this year with a 61 61 win in his all-Japanese second round contest against Takahiro Hirate. Saida will now face South African Eliphas Maripa, after the eight seed’s 62 61 win over Thailand’s Ponminmad Supparat saw Maripa yield the most games of any of the second round victors.
Meanwhile, Weekes takes on Belgian second seed Joachim Gerard for a place in the semifinals after both players raced through their second round matches without dropping a game.
Ishimoto into women’s singles quarterfinals
Naomi Ishimoto’s second round match against Yumiko Inoue produced the only tiebreak on the second day in any of the main draw singles events, with Ishimoto becoming the only unseeded player to reach the women’s quarterfinals after beating Inoue 76(5) 61.
Ishimoto will now play defending champion and top seed Sabine Ellerbrock, who marked her return to the scene of her first Super Series title with a dominant 61 60 win over Thailand’s Ratana Techamaneewat.
While Techamaneewat and Choosri Inthanin both bowed out, seventh seed Sakhorn Khanthasit maintained the Thai challenge comfortably, beating Chinese Taipei’s Hui-Ying Wu 60 60. Khanthasit now goes into an enthralling quarterfinal against South Africa’s world No. 7 Kgothatso Montjane, with fourth seed Yui Kamiji and fifth seed Kanako Domori set to meet in the only all-Japanese quarterfinal.
World No. 4 Marjolein Buis opened her account by defeating Inthanin 60 61 and the Dutch second seed and 2012 runner-up to Ellerbrock will now play sixth seed Miho Nijo of Japan for a place in this year’s semifinals.
Order of Play - Friday, 31 May 2013